U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Construction

FHWA-1273 - Revised October 18, 2011

IV. Davis-Bacon and Related Act Provisions

This section is applicable to all Federal-aid construction projects exceeding $2,000 and to all related subcontracts and lower-tier subcontracts (regardless of subcontract size). The requirements apply to all projects located within the right-of-way of a roadway that is functionally classified as Federal-aid highway. This excludes roadways functionally classified as local roads or rural minor collectors, which are exempt. Contracting agencies may elect to apply these requirements to other projects.

The following provisions are from the U.S. Department of Labor regulations in 29 CFR 5.5 "Contract provisions and related matters" with minor revisions to conform to the FHWA-1273 format and FHWA program requirements.

  1. Minimum wages
    1. All laborers and mechanics employed or working upon the site of the work, will be paid unconditionally and not less often than once a week, and without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account (except such payroll deductions as are permitted by regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor under the Copeland Act (29 CFR part 3)), the full amount of wages and bona fide fringe benefits (or cash equivalents thereof) due at time of payment computed at rates not less than those contained in the wage determination of the Secretary of Labor which is attached hereto and made a part hereof, regardless of any contractual relationship which may be alleged to exist between the contractor and such laborers and mechanics.

      Contributions made or costs reasonably anticipated for bona fide fringe benefits under section 1(b)(2) of the Davis-Bacon Act on behalf of laborers or mechanics are considered wages paid to such laborers or mechanics, subject to the provisions of paragraph 1.d. of this section; also, regular contributions made or costs incurred for more than a weekly period (but not less often than quarterly) under plans, funds, or programs which cover the particular weekly period, are deemed to be constructively made or incurred during such weekly period. Such laborers and mechanics shall be paid the appropriate wage rate and fringe benefits on the wage determination for the classification of work actually performed, without regard to skill, except as provided in 29 CFR 5.5(a)(4). Laborers or mechanics performing work in more than one classification may be compensated at the rate specified for each classification for the time actually worked therein: Provided, That the employer's payroll records accurately set forth the time spent in each classification in which work is performed. The wage determination (including any additional classification and wage rates conformed under paragraph 1.b. of this section) and the Davis-Bacon poster (WH-1321) shall be posted at all times by the contractor and its subcontractors at the site of the work in a prominent and accessible place where it can be easily seen by the workers.

    2. (1) The contracting officer shall require that any class of laborers or mechanics, including helpers, which is not listed in the wage determination and which is to be employed under the contract shall be classified in conformance with the wage determination. The contracting officer shall approve an additional classification and wage rate and fringe benefits therefore only when the following criteria have been met:
      1. The work to be performed by the classification requested is not performed by a classification in the wage determination; and
      2. The classification is utilized in the area by the construction industry; and
      3. The proposed wage rate, including any bona fide fringe benefits, bears a reasonable relationship to the wage rates contained in the wage determination.

      (2) If the contractor and the laborers and mechanics to be employed in the classification (if known), or their representatives, and the contracting officer agree on the classification and wage rate (including the amount designated for fringe benefits where appropriate), a report of the action taken shall be sent by the contracting officer to the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. The Administrator, or an authorized representative, will approve, modify, or disapprove every additional classification action within 30 days of receipt and so advise the contracting officer or will notify the contracting officer within the 30-day period that additional time is necessary.

      (3) In the event the contractor, the laborers or mechanics to be employed in the classification or their representatives, and the contracting officer do not agree on the proposed classification and wage rate (including the amount designated for fringe benefits, where appropriate), the contracting officer shall refer the questions, including the views of all interested parties and the recommendation of the contracting officer, to the Wage and Hour Administrator for determination. The Wage and Hour Administrator, or an authorized representative, will issue a determination within 30 days of receipt and so advise the contracting officer or will notify the contracting officer within the 30-day period that additional time is necessary.

      (4) The wage rate (including fringe benefits where appropriate) determined pursuant to paragraphs 1.b.(2) or 1.b.(3) of this section, shall be paid to all workers performing work in the classification under this contract from the first day on which work is performed in the classification.

    3. Whenever the minimum wage rate prescribed in the contract for a class of laborers or mechanics includes a fringe benefit which is not expressed as an hourly rate, the contractor shall either pay the benefit as stated in the wage determination or shall pay another bona fide fringe benefit or an hourly cash equivalent thereof.
    4. If the contractor does not make payments to a trustee or other third person, the contractor may consider as part of the wages of any laborer or mechanic the amount of any costs reasonably anticipated in providing bona fide fringe benefits under a plan or program, Provided, That the Secretary of Labor has found, upon the written request of the contractor, that the applicable standards of the Davis-Bacon Act have been met. The Secretary of Labor may require the contractor to set aside in a separate account assets for the meeting of obligations under the plan or program.
  2. Withholding

    The contracting agency shall upon its own action or upon written request of an authorized representative of the Department of Labor, withhold or cause to be withheld from the contractor under this contract, or any other Federal contract with the same prime contractor, or any other federally-assisted contract subject to Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, which is held by the same prime contractor, so much of the accrued payments or advances as may be considered necessary to pay laborers and mechanics, including apprentices, trainees, and helpers, employed by the contractor or any subcontractor the full amount of wages required by the contract. In the event of failure to pay any laborer or mechanic, including any apprentice, trainee, or helper, employed or working on the site of the work, all or part of the wages required by the contract, the contracting agency may, after written notice to the contractor, take such action as may be necessary to cause the suspension of any further payment, advance, or guarantee of funds until such violations have ceased.

  3. Payrolls and basic records
    1. Payrolls and basic records relating thereto shall be maintained by the contractor during the course of the work and preserved for a period of three years thereafter for all laborers and mechanics working at the site of the work. Such records shall contain the name, address, and social security number of each such worker, his or her correct classification, hourly rates of wages paid (including rates of contributions or costs anticipated for bona fide fringe benefits or cash equivalents thereof of the types described in section 1(b)(2)(B) of the Davis-Bacon Act), daily and weekly number of hours worked, deductions made and actual wages paid. Whenever the Secretary of Labor has found under 29 CFR 5.5(a)(1)(iv) that the wages of any laborer or mechanic include the amount of any costs reasonably anticipated in providing benefits under a plan or program described in section 1(b)(2)(B) of the Davis-Bacon Act, the contractor shall maintain records which show that the commitment to provide such benefits is enforceable, that the plan or program is financially responsible, and that the plan or program has been communicated in writing to the laborers or mechanics affected, and records which show the costs anticipated or the actual cost incurred in providing such benefits. Contractors employing apprentices or trainees under approved programs shall maintain written evidence of the registration of apprenticeship programs and certification of trainee programs, the registration of the apprentices and trainees, and the ratios and wage rates prescribed in the applicable programs.
    2. (1) The contractor shall submit weekly for each week in which any contract work is performed a copy of all payrolls to the contracting agency. The payrolls submitted shall set out accurately and completely all of the information required to be maintained under 29 CFR 5.5(a)(3)(i), except that full social security numbers and home addresses shall not be included on weekly transmittals. Instead the payrolls shall only need to include an individually identifying number for each employee ( e.g. , the last four digits of the employee's social security number). The required weekly payroll information may be submitted in any form desired. Optional Form WH-347 is available for this purpose from the Wage and Hour Division Web site at http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/forms/wh347instr.htm or its successor site. The prime contractor is responsible for the submission of copies of payrolls by all subcontractors. Contractors and subcontractors shall maintain the full social security number and current address of each covered worker, and shall provide them upon request to the contracting agency for transmission to the State DOT, the FHWA or the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor for purposes of an investigation or audit of compliance with prevailing wage requirements. It is not a violation of this section for a prime contractor to require a subcontractor to provide addresses and social security numbers to the prime contractor for its own records, without weekly submission to the contracting agency.

      (2) Each payroll submitted shall be accompanied by a "Statement of Compliance," signed by the contractor or subcontractor or his or her agent who pays or supervises the payment of the persons employed under the contract and shall certify the following:

      1. That the payroll for the payroll period contains the information required to be provided under §5.5 (a)(3)(ii) of Regulations, 29 CFR part 5, the appropriate information is being maintained under §5.5 (a)(3)(i) of Regulations, 29 CFR part 5, and that such information is correct and complete;
      2. That each laborer or mechanic (including each helper, apprentice, and trainee) employed on the contract during the payroll period has been paid the full weekly wages earned, without rebate, either directly or indirectly, and that no deductions have been made either directly or indirectly from the full wages earned, other than permissible deductions as set forth in Regulations, 29 CFR part 3;
      3. That each laborer or mechanic has been paid not less than the applicable wage rates and fringe benefits or cash equivalents for the classification of work performed, as specified in the applicable wage determination incorporated into the contract.

      (3) The weekly submission of a properly executed certification set forth on the reverse side of Optional Form WH-347 shall satisfy the requirement for submission of the "Statement of Compliance" required by paragraph 3.b.(2) of this section.

      (4) The falsification of any of the above certifications may subject the contractor or subcontractor to civil or criminal prosecution under section 1001 of title 18 and section 231 of title 31 of the United States Code.

    3. The contractor or subcontractor shall make the records required under paragraph 3.a. of this section available for inspection, copying, or transcription by authorized representatives of the contracting agency, the State DOT, the FHWA, or the Department of Labor, and shall permit such representatives to interview employees during working hours on the job. If the contractor or subcontractor fails to submit the required records or to make them available, the FHWA may, after written notice to the contractor, the contracting agency or the State DOT, take such action as may be necessary to cause the suspension of any further payment, advance, or guarantee of funds. Furthermore, failure to submit the required records upon request or to make such records available may be grounds for debarment action pursuant to 29 CFR 5.12.
  4. Apprentices and trainees
    1. Apprentices (programs of the USDOL).

      Apprentices will be permitted to work at less than the predetermined rate for the work they performed when they are employed pursuant to and individually registered in a bona fide apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services, or with a State Apprenticeship Agency recognized by the Office, or if a person is employed in his or her first 90 days of probationary employment as an apprentice in such an apprenticeship program, who is not individually registered in the program, but who has been certified by the Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services or a State Apprenticeship Agency (where appropriate) to be eligible for probationary employment as an apprentice.

      The allowable ratio of apprentices to journeymen on the job site in any craft classification shall not be greater than the ratio permitted to the contractor as to the entire work force under the registered program. Any worker listed on a payroll at an apprentice wage rate, who is not registered or otherwise employed as stated above, shall be paid not less than the applicable wage rate on the wage determination for the classification of work actually performed. In addition, any apprentice performing work on the job site in excess of the ratio permitted under the registered program shall be paid not less than the applicable wage rate on the wage determination for the work actually performed. Where a contractor is performing construction on a project in a locality other than that in which its program is registered, the ratios and wage rates (expressed in percentages of the journeyman's hourly rate) specified in the contractor's or subcontractor's registered program shall be observed.

      Every apprentice must be paid at not less than the rate specified in the registered program for the apprentice's level of progress, expressed as a percentage of the journeymen hourly rate specified in the applicable wage determination. Apprentices shall be paid fringe benefits in accordance with the provisions of the apprenticeship program. If the apprenticeship program does not specify fringe benefits, apprentices must be paid the full amount of fringe benefits listed on the wage determination for the applicable classification. If the Administrator determines that a different practice prevails for the applicable apprentice classification, fringes shall be paid in accordance with that determination.

      In the event the Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services, or a State Apprenticeship Agency recognized by the Office, withdraws approval of an apprenticeship program, the contractor will no longer be permitted to utilize apprentices at less than the applicable predetermined rate for the work performed until an acceptable program is approved.

    2. Trainees (programs of the USDOL).

      Except as provided in 29 CFR 5.16, trainees will not be permitted to work at less than the predetermined rate for the work performed unless they are employed pursuant to and individually registered in a program which has received prior approval, evidenced by formal certification by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

      The ratio of trainees to journeymen on the job site shall not be greater than permitted under the plan approved by the Employment and Training Administration.

      Every trainee must be paid at not less than the rate specified in the approved program for the trainee's level of progress, expressed as a percentage of the journeyman hourly rate specified in the applicable wage determination. Trainees shall be paid fringe benefits in accordance with the provisions of the trainee program. If the trainee program does not mention fringe benefits, trainees shall be paid the full amount of fringe benefits listed on the wage determination unless the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division determines that there is an apprenticeship program associated with the corresponding journeyman wage rate on the wage determination which provides for less than full fringe benefits for apprentices. Any employee listed on the payroll at a trainee rate who is not registered and participating in a training plan approved by the Employment and Training Administration shall be paid not less than the applicable wage rate on the wage determination for the classification of work actually performed. In addition, any trainee performing work on the job site in excess of the ratio permitted under the registered program shall be paid not less than the applicable wage rate on the wage determination for the work actually performed.

      In the event the Employment and Training Administration withdraws approval of a training program, the contractor will no longer be permitted to utilize trainees at less than the applicable predetermined rate for the work performed until an acceptable program is approved.

    3. Equal employment opportunity. The utilization of apprentices, trainees and journeymen under this part shall be in conformity with the equal employment opportunity requirements of Executive Order 11246, as amended, and 29 CFR part 30.
    4. Apprentices and Trainees (programs of the U.S. DOT).

      Apprentices and trainees working under apprenticeship and skill training programs which have been certified by the Secretary of Transportation as promoting EEO in connection with Federal-aid highway construction programs are not subject to the requirements of paragraph 4 of this Section IV. The straight time hourly wage rates for apprentices and trainees under such programs will be established by the particular programs. The ratio of apprentices and trainees to journeymen shall not be greater than permitted by the terms of the particular program.

  5. Compliance with Copeland Act requirements. The contractor shall comply with the requirements of 29 CFR part 3, which are incorporated by reference in this contract.
  6. Subcontracts. The contractor or subcontractor shall insert Form FHWA-1273 in any subcontracts and also require the subcontractors to include Form FHWA-1273 in any lower tier subcontracts. The prime contractor shall be responsible for the compliance by any subcontractor or lower tier subcontractor with all the contract clauses in 29 CFR 5.5.
  7. Contract termination: debarment. A breach of the contract clauses in 29 CFR 5.5 may be grounds for termination of the contract, and for debarment as a contractor and a subcontractor as provided in 29 CFR 5.12.
  8. Compliance with Davis-Bacon and Related Act requirements. All rulings and interpretations of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts contained in 29 CFR parts 1, 3, and 5 are herein incorporated by reference in this contract.
  9. Disputes concerning labor standards. Disputes arising out of the labor standards provisions of this contract shall not be subject to the general disputes clause of this contract. Such disputes shall be resolved in accordance with the procedures of the Department of Labor set forth in 29 CFR parts 5, 6, and 7. Disputes within the meaning of this clause include disputes between the contractor (or any of its subcontractors) and the contracting agency, the U.S. Department of Labor, or the employees or their representatives.
  10. Certification of eligibility.
    1. By entering into this contract, the contractor certifies that neither it (nor he or she) nor any person or firm who has an interest in the contractor's firm is a person or firm ineligible to be awarded Government contracts by virtue of section 3(a) of the Davis-Bacon Act or 29 CFR 5.12(a)(1).
    2. No part of this contract shall be subcontracted to any person or firm ineligible for award of a Government contract by virtue of section 3(a) of the Davis-Bacon Act or 29 CFR 5.12(a)(1).
    3. The penalty for making false statements is prescribed in the U.S. Criminal Code, 18 U.S.C. 1001.
Updated: 12/12/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000